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Portugal vs Czech Republic Euro 2024 prediction: Will Cristiano Ronaldo defend Golden Boot?

Portugal v Croatia previw

Cristiano Ronaldo makes a sixth European Championship tournament appearance when Portugal begins their Euro 2024 campaign against the Czech Republic.

Latest Portugal vs Czech Republic prediction

A disappointing quarter-final exit at World Cup 2022 concluded the reign of Fernando Santos, who had won Portugal’s first major international title at Euro 2016, beating hosts France in the final.

His successor, Roberto Martinez, had no such luck when presiding over Belgium’s ‘Golden Generation’, a bronze medal at World Cup 2018 being his best result.

However, things have been going smoothly since the former Wigan boss took over with Portugal. He will be content to be drawn in Group F alongside Turkey, debutants Georgia and Czech Republic, now led by Ivan Hašek.

Considering their form in qualifying, the Portuguese are overwhelming favourites for this tie. Despite losing 2-1 to Croatia recently, Portugal enter Euro 2024 off the back of a 3-0 win against Ireland.

However, the Czech Republic are also on a five-game winning streak, which has seen them score 16 goals (although seven did come against Malta). They haven’t failed to score in their past seven matches.

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The match between Portugal and Czech Republic takes place on June 18 at Leipzig Stadium, Leipzig.

Portugal were relentless and ruthless as they finished at the top of the Euro 2024 qualifying Group J, remaining unbeaten. They registered an impressive 36 goals, averaging 3.6 goals per game, while only conceding twice.

From a historical perspective, Portugal became the eighth national side to qualify for a European Championship with a 100% record. This was the ninth instance, after France (1992 and 2004), the Czech Republic (2000), Germany, Spain (both 2012), England (2016), Italy and Belgium (both 2020).

Moreover, they scored the most number of goals and conceded the least number of goals. Their lynchpin and most celebrated player, Cristiano Ronaldo, finished with 10 goals, while Bruno Fernandes scored six. Additionally, the team has many high-profile players, including Diogo Jota, Bernardo Silva, and Rúben Dias, who were called upon during their successful qualification campaign.

On the other hand, the Czech Republic finished level with Albania in Euro 2024 qualifying Group E, but an inferior head-to-head record saw them finish as runners-up. They only lost one match, a 3-0 defeat against Albania on the road. They will look to Tomáš Souček, who plays for West Ham, to guide their attack.

Confirmed Portugal line-up

  • Costa; Dias, Pepe, Mendes; Dalot, Fernandes, Vitinha, Cancelo; Bernardo Silva, Ronaldo, Leao (3-4-3)

As mentioned, Portugal are bringing a highly-talented and experienced squad to Germany. The team will be led by Ronaldo (39), with Pepe (41) as vice-captain. The former Real Madrid teammates have amassed more than 340 international caps.

However, the squad also includes several young and energetic players, including Gonçalo Inácio and Gonçalo Ramos, both aged 22, and 19-year-old Benfica midfielder João Neves, who is being touted as Portugal’s next big star.

While there are some questions about Portugal’s starting lineup, it seems Rúben Dias’s defensive partner has been found, with Pepe appearing in Portugal’s last pre-finals friendly. Portugal can play in many formations, and a three-man defence remains possible since João Cancelo can play on either wing. If that happens, Gonçalo Inácio or António Silva could start. João Neves and João Félix may also feature if Martínez adjusts his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Confirmed Czech Republic line-up

  • Stanek; Holes, Hranac, Krejci; Coufal, Doudera, Soucek, Provod, Sulc; Schick, Kuchta (3-5-2)

Unlike in previous championships, Czech Republic are devoid of household names bar Hammers duo Vladimír Coufal and Tomáš Souček, with Patrik Schick a close third.

He played a role in Bayer Leverkusen winning their first Bundesliga title, and there are several ‘Big five’ mainstays, including midfielder Antonín Barák (Fiorentina) and defender David Jurásek (Hoffenheim), but how newly-installed head coach Hašek lines his team remains to be seen. The 60-year-old tactician has taken charge of four matches, winning friendlies against Norway, Armenia, Malta and North Macedonia. In the last three, he opted for a back three, so that is to be expected at Euro 2024 this summer.

Further up the field, it’s not easy to guess who will join Souček in central midfield in place of the injured Michal Sadílek. There is also strong competition for the left-wing berth, with David Douděra a solution. Adam Hložek or Mojmír Chytil are possible options to start with Schick up front.

Portugal vs Czech Republic head-to-head record

Three of the five previous meetings against Portugal since the Czech Republic became an independent nation have taken place under the Uefa European Championship banner, with A Seleção das Quinas winning on two occasions. Portugal are currently on a four-game winning streak, having lost that first showdown at Euro 1996, famously remembered for Karel Poborský’s exquisite chip over Vítor Baía.

Portugal vs Czech Republic H2H
Date Score Ground
24/09/2022 Czech Republic 0-4 Portugal Sinobo Stadium, Prague
09/06/2022 Portugal 2-0 Czech Republic Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon
21/06/2012 Czech Republic 0-1 Portugal Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw
11/06/2008 Czech Republic 1-3 Portugal Stade de Genève, Geneva
23/06/1996 Portugal 0-1 Czech Republic Villa Park, Birmingham

How to watch Portugal vs Czech Republic live

This showdown will be live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.

Every Euro 2024 game will be shown live on either BBC or ITV, with the two platforms sharing the broadcast rights.